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Walk a mile in their shoes: Learning from Public Attitudes to Science 2011


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Ipsos MORI presented findings from Public Attitudes to Science (PAS) 2011 and its other research on science issues at the British Pharmacological Society (BPS) Symposium on Public Engagement, part of the 2012 BPS Winter Meeting. PAS 2011 was a study conducted on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. This session focused on the segmentation model that groups the UK public into six segments based on their views on science.

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Walk a mile in their shoes: Learning from Public Attitudes to Science 2011

  1. 1. Version 1 | PublicWalk a mile in their shoesLearning from Public Attitudes to Science 2011Jayesh Navin Shah December 2012© Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  2. 2. What is this session about?• Ipsos MORI conducted the Public Attitudes to Science 2011 study for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)• This study created a segmentation model based on the UK public’s attitudes to science, scientists and science policy• This session will cover three things 1. Introducing the idea of segmenting your audience when discussing your research 2. Looking in depth at the Public Attitudes to Science 2011 segmentation model 3. Discussing how you can use this segmentation model to help engage the public with your research© Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  3. 3. What is segmentation? Face-to-face survey (October-December 2010) • Representative sample of 2,103 UK adults • Questionnaire includes 77 attitudinal statements Factor analysis Cluster analysis Six segments • Combines 77 Groups respondents Interpreted based on attitudinal statements who have similar the survey data and into 15 factors scores for each qualitative research • These factors showing factor into segments underlying attitudes Qualitative research (Autumn 2010 and February 2011) • 4 general public dialogue workshops across UK • 4 discussion groups in London and Huntingdon recruited by segment© Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  4. 4. MythbustingWhat does the public really think aboutscience and scientists?© Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  5. 5. The UK public is increasingly interested in science …Q. For each of the statements, please could you tell me the extent to which you agree or disagree? % Agree science is such a big part of our lives we should all take an interest % Agree it is important to know about science in my daily life 100% 100% 79 82 73 75% 75% 70 67 50% 59 50% 62 25% 25% 0% 0% 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011Base: c.2,000 UK adults aged 16+ for each year Source: BIS Public Attitudes to Science studiesFieldwork dates for Public Attitudes to Science 2011: 11 October-19 December 2010© Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  6. 6. … and scientists are amongst the most trusted professions …Q. Now I will read you a list of different types of people. For each would you tell me if you generally trust them to tell the truth, or not? % tell the truth % not tell the truth 81 88 62 63 68 71 72 74 47 55 29 34 39 14 17 19 16 17 14 9 8 6 39 32 27 27 24 59 40 74 73 70Base: 1,026 British adults aged 15+ Source: Ipsos MORI/BMA Trust in Professions surveyFieldwork dates: 10 to 16 June 2011© Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  7. 7. … but public engagement with science is still essential “When we don’t know much about scientists, we get the impression they are airy-fairy, head in the clouds.” PAS 2011 workshop participant 51% Think they hear and see too little information about science these daysBase: 2,103 UK adults aged 16+Fieldwork dates: 11 October-19 December 2010 Source: Ipsos MORI/BIS Public Attitudes to Science 2011© Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  8. 8. The six segmentsWho are they and what are their views?© Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  9. 9. Confident Engagers are strongly positive about the role ofscience in society, and already feel sufficiently engaged “Yes psychology is a science. Because of things like Pavlov‟s experiments, you can show how things work by methods.” PAS 2011 participant Tend to be affluent (ABC1s), have a higher education and aged 35-44• Were enthusiastic about science at school• Relatively close proximity to science in their lives, either through work, or friends and family• Often go to all sorts of museums, galleries and festivals More likely to read broadsheets, use• Sceptical about health and science claims made in social media and adverts and in the media read science blogs© Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  10. 10. Distrustful Engagers think science benefits society, but are lesstrusting of scientists and less confident of regulation “Unfortunately, there are so many things which come up in media where things have been handled wrongly. I think the NHS is in a bit of a mess, so I would not fully trust that everything would be used in the correct way.” Tend to be men, generally without children, affluent HTA stakeholder evaluation (2007) (ABC1s), with a higher education, and aged 55+• More cynical about the intentions of private companies and government, and think the public should have more say• Tend to think of scientists as introverts, working behind closed doors Tend to read right-leaning• Often sports fans, more likely to attend live newspapers, but also more likely sports events to read science magazines© Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  11. 11. Late Adopters did not enjoy science at school, but now take astrong interest, based on environmental and ethical concerns “Carbon Dioxide Removal options are natural processes, so less likely to have unintended consequences on ecosystems.” Tend to be women, often Experiment Earth (2010) parents generally young, aged 16-34, many with an arts or humanities background• Take a broad view of what constitutes science (e.g. CSI as a science-based show)• Engage with news stories and activities that relate back to their environmental and ethical concerns (e.g. going to the zoo)• Would like to hear more scientists discuss the More likely to download or stream social and ethical implications of their work programmes or video clips, and to visit social networking websites© Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  12. 12. The Concerned distinguish themselves through a more religiousor spiritual outlook on life, which informs their views on science “It shouldn‟t be done because once you start you can‟t stop or control it. The consequences would leak out somewhere.” More likely to be women, Public dialogue into Animals from younger age groups Containing Human Materials aged 16-34, less affluent (2010) (C2DEs) and from ethnic minority backgrounds• Often less convinced about established science (e.g. on climate change or vaccination)• Not sure what the economic benefits of science are• Think religion and faith should play a stronger More likely to read role in society than they currently do tabloids, and less likely to read any• Tend to have faith that the government is Sunday newspaper generally doing the right thing© Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  13. 13. The Indifferent do not feel informed about science, but are notespecially interested or concerned either “You always hear these things without always knowing what they are. It‟s „medical‟, but that‟s about as far as I‟ve actually thought about it. It‟s like „cells‟, you often read things without fully understanding what it is anyway.” Tend to be older people HTA stakeholder evaluation (2007) and retired, often less affluent (C2DEs)• Generally tend not to be interested in new challenges or learning new skills• Generally don‟t go to museums or galleries• Are put off by technical terms and jargon Least likely to have internet access, so television and• Don‟t think there is much they can change newspapers are important, with the way things are run especially tabloids© Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  14. 14. Disengaged Sceptics were put off science at school, and todaythey find it overwhelming “It‟s no use talking to us about CO2 emissions and expecting us to change our behaviour instantly. A tonne of carbon, what does that even look like! I want to know what‟s going to More likely to be happen around here.” women, less affluent (C2DEs), and with no The Big Energy Shift (2009) formal qualifications• Think things like science and the economy are too complex for them to understand• Take a conservative attitude towards science and health regulation• Don’t want personal involvement, but want to More likely to read know the Government is listening to the public tabloids, and less• But will engage with news stories if there is a non- likely to have science narrative that interests them internet access© Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  15. 15. So do these groups of people really exist? This short video was taken with members of the general public who attended our PAS discussion groups in London in February 2011© Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  16. 16. Over to you! In groups, taking the segment we give you: 1. What in life really matters to this segment? 2. How can you use the things that matter to engage them with your research? 3. How would you most effectively use media channels, messages, events, activities? Prepare to present back your top three insights to the room© Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public